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2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

After today, there’s just tomorrow. How did we get through April so fast?

For today’s prompt, take a line from one of your poems (preferably one of your April poems), make it the title of your poem today, and then, write the poem.

Here’s my attempt:

“unseen until after they’re spent”

moments without any longing
erase the hours but don’t make
anything better less lonesome


Workshop Your Poetry!

Writing poetry is exciting, but the hard work of poeming is working through the revision process. The best way to work through this process is to workshop the poems with other poets, and that can be done with the Writer’s Digest 6-week course, Advanced Poetry Writing.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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Want some more poeming fun? Check out these previous Poetic Asides posts:

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206 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

  1. foodpoet

    We dream dance
    our troubles away
    drift in a daze
    Waiting reality reef

    In dream, we escape
    the day, memory loss
    coping with routine
    your ever blank glance
    no longer seeing our faces.
    We watch your daily trance,
    where nothing changes
    no new ideas emerge.
    Each shattered thought a lance
    and we dream dance.

    Troubles multiply
    compounded by the math impaired daughter
    coping with taxes and beyond
    each number each figure weigh
    heavy on my mind as I struggle
    to keep your finances from going astray.
    I look at my unbalanced check book and life,
    throw up my hands
    and watch my hair going gray
    keeping troubles away.

    I wish I could escape
    dream a little for me
    must one down day,
    watch your eyes glaze
    and watch another nothing day.
    Know that this is an eroding phase.
    That the memories of today
    will be the last leaf falling
    deeper into a mind maze
    as we drift in a daze.

    Together we are locked
    mind of youth
    mind of age
    linked for a rare brief
    connected thought and then
    it shatters again, thought leaf
    falling again to the autumn disease.
    Trees of your mind are shorn,
    stolen by time thief
    and I wait reality reef.

  2. Glory

    Only Yesterday

    Was it yesterday?
    I saw the light
    within your eyes
    slowly dim
    until it died.

    No words spoken,
    a silent heart
    sucked dry,
    for love itself
    that day did die.

  3. cstewart

    The Power of That Spell

    The one you attempted to cast on me,
    Was a trine of indefinite power.
    I escaped only with my innocence,
    And a fragrant, blue aura of violets.

  4. Linda Voit

    What If She Couldn’t Find The Broom

    The gravity depends entirely
    on whether said broom
    was needed for crumbs under the table
    in the late morning of a June day
    or for transportation
    at eight in the evening
    on October thirty first.

  5. Lindy

    Five minutes too old

    Chartreuse flowers on the hill,
    swimming in the meadow swill,
    into this my blood stood still…
    like winter’s chill
    5 minutes too old.

    The dancing of the sun’s delights,
    pictures tall behind the nights,
    deception lies before her sights…
    and she still writes
    5 minutes too old.

    Serenade me till I sleep,
    the moon shall hold me in it’s keep,
    and if perchance I dream too deep…
    Just let them weep
    5 minutes too old.

    The air has grown a bitter cold,
    with beauty’s stories left untold,
    there’s more to find in any fold…
    Life to hold
    5 minutes too old.

  6. drwasy

    the asparagus are late

    this year. so are the lilac
    and narcissi, the wisteria
    curling purple clusters
    over my porch railing,
    the rhubarb buried deep
    in frosted earth.

    but the asparagus!
    my barometer of spring,
    my hope for end
    of winter’s bitter dark.

    each morn I rush through
    grass dew-wet to inspect
    earth cracked, the primordial
    stones belching forth
    to make room for slim
    spears of mauve and green
    but only garlic weed stinks
    the air, dandelion chokes
    the earth’s furrows.

    this worries me.
    the asparagus are late
    this year.

  7. shethra77

    The first line is from the Express poem of April Challenge Day 17.

    I am a beast that runs

    but some run farther, faster.
    I run in circles of convention
    in the bright light of the early hour.
    Sun blinds my eyes, nose points down the road,
    feet turn where?
    No, that’s from whence I came–
    that’s where I was. I say let’s fly, let’s swim
    somewhere, anywhere new. Another place with different dawns,
    where herds of clouds stampede across the valleys,
    where pebbled beaches fling their rocky arms out and embrace the ocean.
    Here I am.

    I am a beast that runs
    on the inside
    ever yearning, on the inside
    ever striving.
    Odysseus had nothing on me.
    He traveled and battled across the far-flingen regions of Greece.
    Coming home killed him—home,
    where Penelope had had to stay.
    Penelope, the good wife who remained home.
    What if she, too, were the beast?

    Maybe she was. Strongest woman on Earth, married to a
    man who learned to live only away–
    only far away. He learned in twenty years
    how to survive
    But she was stronger—twenty years waiting,
    running in place.

    That’s what I do.
    I run in the place where I am.
    I am a beast that runs.

  8. Deri

    I had a hard time picking one line, so I went one further and also incorporated a line from a previous poem into each stanza

    All The Pretty Girls

    In Sunday dresses
    flirting with the
    soft movement of the
    velveteen curves
    of their shoulders

    Never apart,
    they glance at you
    from under the
    fanned fringes
    of kohl blackened

    nodding in
    silent acquiescence,
    too loud
    laughter tinkling
    in the noon day sun

    You notice how
    they linger,
    their feet dragging
    across the wet grass
    pulling at every sucking step

    You long to
    for more, to fight
    for their attention
    unaware how it’s
    all an act
    how every night is
    spent fighting off the
    ghosts crouching in the dark

  9. omavi

    “Just an autonomous reaction”

    This was not scripted
    Not even expected
    Wasn’t conceived in a torrents of thoughts
    Just an uncontrollable motion
    Just an errant reaction

    It just happened

    Wasn’t looking or searching
    The dreams was on pause
    The feeling long numb

    You can’t always choose
    The moment love is found

  10. THEGingerSass

    “Into the Statue of Liberty’s torch”

    Sometimes I imagine
    what life would be like
    if I had decided to leave home
    apply and go to NYU
    lead a life of sophistication
    become what I dared
    to dream of becoming
    instead of pursuing the path
    of safety
    and defining my own dreams
    and discovering new destinies
    within my reach.
    I still have the potential
    to leap–
    no, soar–
    into the stars,
    nestled into the city skyline
    amongst the flames of
    Lady Liberty’s torch.

    1. PressOn

      Very nice imagery here.Makes me think of Emma Lazarus’s line about the lamp lifted beside the golden door, illuminating the possibilities beyond one’s reach.

  11. P.A. Beyer

    Sandy saw the zeroes

    All that watching TLC finally paid off
    When she saw the store clerk’s eyes rise
    Who has time for diamonds when
    Coupons are a poor girl’s best friend
    The bags of fruit, veggies and seven
    Mayonnaise jars didn’t cost a dime
    Her smile was more of a shit eatin’ kind
    Sandy loves and hates like a popcorn kernel
    Spending her free time counting bristles on the ground
    Except for when she runs out of sugar for her coffee
    Then watch out world, this gal’s got the power
    To level more than just a playing field
    But no worries today, today is a good day
    The sugar was on sale, with a double back guarantee
    She’ll have no problem adding an extra teaspoon
    To her cracked “Best Mom in the World” mug of Nescafe

  12. Sara McNulty

    Pretty Boy, They Called Him

    Dimpled cheeks, skin of peach
    he was their darling
    baby boy

    Neighbors oohed and ahed,
    cooed in his ear,
    so sweet, so sweet

    Pretty Boy started school,
    teacher’s pet on his first day,
    he learned to play

    Pretty Boy made a leap;
    manhood stole the child.
    How egotistical, they cried.

    Poetic Asides
    April Challenge – Day 29
    Take a line from an April poem, make it the title,
    and then write the poem.

  13. Marie Elena


    I feel like I been rode hard and hung up dry.
    Sumpin’ gotta give.

    I’m fixin’ to go to church agin.
    The one what got me some clothes
    Fer free
    ‘n a crib fer baby Hollis.
    Them folks is real nice.
    Reeeel nice.

    Pastor Dave was real proud’a me too.
    I tole him I ain’t turned a trick in a week.

    I’m proud of my own self, too.
    But I ain’t fer sher how long I can be holdin’ out.
    I mean — I ain’t above my raisin’,
    After all.

    (“A moment in your skin” from April 8th.)

  14. JRSimmang

    This isn’t a poem, but I just want to express my admiration and amazement at all of talent. It certainly is incredible that we have so many poets who are able to turn a simple prompt into pure genius. This has been a fun NaPoWriMo so far.

  15. JRSimmang

    My Flesh is Your Flesh Refined

    Old man,
    sitting in your chair
    stuffed into your corner
    sifting the cold whiskey
    and colder ice
    into your bearded face,
    you are me

    I see in your hands
    the line that made me
    and the line that forever
    rest in yours,
    curled around a
    forgotten memory,
    stagnated in a cool pond
    and allowed to float.

    It is in this spot, you and
    I shall remain at odds,
    housed under the same roof
    that conjoined us.

  16. tunesmiff

    We have our dreams,
    We have our plans;
    We can almost hold them
    In our hands.
    And yet they run through our fingers
    Like sand on the beach.
    The stars are just
    Beyond our reach.

    If I could jump
    To grab just one,
    The fabric of the universe
    Would come undone.
    Maybe it’s best
    They’re where they are;
    Beyond our reach
    Is the closet star.

  17. bxpoetlover

    From my poem, “Posts”

    Had to twist them

    Had to twist them
    words like light bulbs
    As I tried to make them see
    the fears, the hope, the love
    that swirl inside of me.

  18. tonijoell

    The Secrets I Told You

    I want
    them to gut you,
    leave you hollow – aching…
    to unfurl inside you like two
    dark wings
    and unravel your fragile seams.
    I want you festering
    like an old wound—
    like me.

  19. dextrousdigits

    I get tired of the echo’s from the past

    The persistent drumming, drumming
    The reverberations vibrating through me
    Slamming me
    Screaming at me

    Then that persistent whisper
    “You can do better”
    “It’s not enough”
    “Try harder”

    You can do bet ter, you can do bet ter
    It is not e nough, it is not e nough
    Try har der, try har der
    The chant echos, echos, echos, echos

    Drumming, drumming
    Pounding, pounding
    The reverberation from the past slamming me
    Echos screaming “NOT ENOUGH”

  20. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    “End of Story”

    Or is it?
    Legendary –
    that’s what they were.
    Two mismatched souls
    united by soft jazz and
    smoky conversations
    that lasted over 50 years
    leaving behind those
    who reflect their love
    magnifying what was
    into what is now –
    making the story

  21. carolecole66

    You Think It’s Going To Be a Simple Walk

    When you start off at midnight just to walk down the block
    before tuning in, you think that it will be a simple walk.
    You wear night clothes and flip flops planning to unwind,
    breathe the heavy humid air, and maybe hear
    the barred owl that often hunts along the creek.
    But then the jerk throws a beer bottle out his truck
    window. It shatters at your feet and you stand stunned
    wondering what you had done to trigger such rage.
    Was it the torn t-shirt and lack of underwear? Did you
    offend his fashion sense? The glass sparkles at your feet
    under the street light and you suddenly feel like running
    straight into the universe, into that black hole that hums
    57 octaves below middle C, just as the Hindus always knew.
    And you think, in your outrage, you just might hear it
    as it blows through your head, slamming out thoughts
    of vengeance leaving clear, sweet harmony and the echoing call
    of a predatory owl, hunting along the creek.

  22. vsbryant1

    Before I Knew You, Life Was Uncertain

    Before I knew you, life was uncertain
    pain was everyday, life was completely grey
    Before I knew you, life was uncertain
    darkness surrounded me, terror was my life
    Before I knew you, life was uncertain
    confusion plagued me, the struggle engulfed my soul
    Before i knew you,life was uncertain
    I didn’t truly know what love was, not until the day I met you
    Before I knew you, life was uncertain
    day after day, night after night, minute after minute, second after second
    Before i knew you, life was uncertain
    now that I have you life is definitely a blessing.

  23. Sondie

    From the only poem I’ve written this year based on the mechanical prompt: the line- direction to nowhere

    Direction to Nowhere

    As soon as the words “I’m going to the store” are loosed from my lips
    I turn into a volcano with great rumbles of swirling lava
    churning beneath my surface.

    Where I want to go is far away.

    Maybe the coast to a seaside shanty on a remote stretch of beach
    where only long time locals live and I will
    become one of them.

    Maybe the mountains to a cottage hidden in the valley below
    with great oaks to shelter me
    from life’s storms.

    Where I go is nowhere I want to be.

  24. Julieann

    Fear Makes the Possible Impossible
    (another shadorma)

    Love, afraid
    To accept it, to
    Long for its
    Sweet embrace
    Past hurts hinder future love
    Hurdles thrive on fear

  25. BDP

    “Outside the Institute, a New Painting”

    Big Sandburg shoulders–husky, brawling–bowed
    by post-modern. Freight-handler tracks are now
    a plaza where two jumbo glass-block screens
    project Chicago faces. Friendly mouths

    spew water. Nothing fearsome, ugly, prayer
    inducing: gargoyles celebrate good cheer,
    with children splashing in cascading wet
    that’s chlorinated. This new downtown’s lean.

    The sunrise towels steam from mirrored panes
    and buildings bench press sky with steel-beam strength.
    Worn seams are better hidden: suit-tie men
    flock gem-stoned walks, no painted women lure

    fresh farm boys. Parkside daisies wear thick lashes.
    Would Chi-city’s poet call tech hunger his?

    The title comes from the first line of the second stanza of a WD April poem I wrote concerning Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” in the Art Institute of Chicago. This poem borrows a few images from one of Carl Sandburg’s most famous poems, “Chicago.”

    B Peters

  26. Bruce Niedt

    Okay Robert, I took your challenge a step further: Both the title and the poem itself are composed of lines from my poems from this month. In other words, I wrote a cento, using lines from twenty of my April poems (including the title).

    How Complex You Are

    I’ll tell you unequivocally,
    Nature: I love and hate you.
    I’m dopey enough to tell you how I feel.
    We’ve breezed through laughter,
    slogged through tears,
    promises, engagements, hearts,
    casting aspersions, doubts, accusations
    when you betrayed me. Still I held back rain.

    Pessimism loves a vacuum.
    The ants are in the peonies again.
    Ghost-faced owl dives, curls talons.
    Please keep your wrath at bay –
    we can’t let the dark possibles dictate us.

    Sun plus warm equals melt –
    then take a walk, admire daffodils.
    Let’s go on a holiday to the borderline.
    Our bodies respond with madness,
    like a town crier on Doomsday,
    lips puffed beyond the natural ,
    with fireworks of purple.

  27. burrhead

    I get jealous when you laugh

    Across the town square
    I hear you laughing
    If I was paranoid (like they say I am)
    I would assume
    you know I can hear

    You must know
    I am in the vicinity
    And you laugh to let me know
    You still find people amusing
    Just not me

  28. EbenAt

    A Guitar Could Say Things

    A guitar could say things
    I could not.

    Smart but stupid,
    TNT looking for a fuse.

    Enter the guitar.
    Like butter in
    a pan sauce,
    The finishing touch.

    The backdrop of music
    made expression possible,
    smoothed the lumps.

    From fractious to fine
    in six easy strings.

  29. JRSimmang

    Be His Great Escape

    There was a movie
    a long time ago
    where the hero was imprisoned

    and broke free on a motorcycle.

    He left behind his friends, knowing
    that some of them will make it
    their own paradise,
    and knowing that others
    will burn in their own hells.

    But that was a long time ago.
    Times are simpler now than the
    background painted Hollywood.

    Be his great escape
    and forever shall he ride
    into you,
    discovering new parts of you
    you thought at one point may
    have been lost to the barbed wire fence
    and the bygone rusted silos.

    Be his great escape
    and find that the last touch you feel
    against your skin will be the salt
    of pure sweat and
    when he looks to the window
    he will see you as his
    final paradise.

  30. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Wonder if anyone reads all these! This poem takes a line from a previous poem of mine — I challenge you to find it! — and extends it into a new poem inserting several words in Gaelige and in German.

    small as a sand bur

    insidious seed husk
    the bare foot beware
    tá sé go dona, bad
    and yes, you could
    step on an Irish one
    I did not, buíochas
    le Dia agus Muire
    but no fear a foot
    might meet fangs
    for buíochas le St. Pat
    Erin’s been de-snaked

    haben Sie gehört?
    devil’s claw
    in German so
    you’d best
    and snakes?
    in august ‘09
    a British tourist’s
    big toe felt the fang
    of a poisonous one
    in a Bavarian market
    briefly hospitalized she’s
    okay, dank ist zum Gott

  31. HandHeldWriter

    “hitting SNOOZE” (from Day 23)

    No! I need more sleep,
    So, I’ll just hit SNOOZE.

    It’s quite okay,
    Because today,
    I have some time to lose.

    Nine minutes pass,
    The alarm sound blasts,
    Once again I refuse.

    This cycle repeats:
    SNOOZE-sleep, SNOOZE-sleep…
    The hour hand moves.

    Now it’s thirty past eight,
    Oh no! I’m gonna be late!
    What did I do?

    The alarm had stopped
    Because I hit OFF
    Instead of hitting SNOOZE!

  32. alana sherman

    Since the prompt for day 23 was to write a trilet and that challenge is the source of my line, had to make it a triolet too.

    So Here I Sit In April Rain

    So here I sit in April rain
    the maples’ boughs fringed with red
    Waiting for spring to come again
    So here I sit in April rain
    Eager for bluebirds’ dazzling skein
    of song knit with breezy thread
    So here I sit in April rain
    the maples’ boughs fringed with red


  33. Angie5804

    One Salty, Summer Day

    When the wind was light
    One salty, summer day
    The sun freckled her nose
    Her back, as she walked away

    She wandered along the shore
    In search of the perfect shell
    One that held secrets
    One that she could tell

    In the foam of the receding tide
    At last she found it there
    A shell, polished from waves
    A secret-keeper rare

    She brought it to her lips
    As her story she revealed
    It caught the words she said
    She thought she would be healed

    As far as she was able
    She threw that shell into the deep
    Yet, she could not walk away
    She then began to weep

    She stood for many moments
    She knew what she must do
    Forever in the ocean
    Forever in the blue

    Secrets now were gone
    Footprints washed from sight
    The moon began to rise
    One salty, summer night

  34. Raina Masters

    My toes are soundless against the night

    My heels never touch the hardwood floor,
    the quietest tap dance across a room to
    sneak a glass of water, a small snack from
    a foreign kitchen. Open cabinets to look
    for a glass and find a shelf of wallets,
    a lazy susan with keychains jingling softly
    as I turn it. The fridge is barren, save
    an orange and a container of milk. The freezer
    holds white paper wrapped slabs of meat
    stickered with names in a red marker:
    Natalie, 3/11. Kendra, 12/11. Audrey, 7/12.
    You want me to find these. You want me to run.
    I want to piece these girls back together,
    want to know what you did with their faces.
    I will not be your next meal, your next deer
    to chase through the wooded acres behind your
    house. This isn’t a movie and I’m proficient
    with knives. I light a candle and set your
    dining room table, fold napkins with precision,
    pour two glasses of wine. I slip your necktie
    around my neck, sit bare on the cold wooden
    chair and wait for you, cleaver in hand.

  35. DanielAri

    “Acorns fall far”

    Becca Auerbach spun this conjecture:
    newly born, the oceans looked wavelessly
    at the ancient stars whose light collected
    in water clear as infant air. The sea-
    bottom gleamed with far distant sun spectra.

    Now the liquid’s rough and clouded, and we
    think the depths devoid of light. No, she gasped.
    The deepest floors flash disco-ball fairy
    sprites and sparks, brighter than Vegas. The caps
    of waves in moonlight bespeak the glow-flecked

    basements. She rocked back in her chair and clasped
    her teacup. We sat quietly a spell,
    willing to unshoulder Newton’s apple
    and let it roll away after her tell
    ended; and we looked around at our gray

    fringes and lined faces as the sun fell;
    and Alan chuckled and rasped, “Well, well, well.”

  36. PowerUnit

    She’s a random survival
    An anomolous statistic of the Holocaust
    Who walks through the Canadian mall holding more pain
    Than the rest of the patrons combined will ever feel

    When it’s her turn to give her opinion
    On the latest book our club has read
    I watch her eyes glisten as she speaks
    Lamenting the tragedies
    All novels have sad endings
    Someone once said

  37. Margot Suydam

    Poem a day #29 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Poetic Asides: 1) write a poem using five words from another language, and (2) write a poen using a lie from another poem written this month.

    Always cracked and never clean

    the glasses lying sur son table
    Allez a la chambre where I sleep
    and you will find shards of glee
    Les chevaliers are cantering by
    soleil bleached kitchen curtains
    charged with dusky evening breezes
    Can’t be mended, can’t be wiped
    mais je pense que je t’aime toujour.

  38. PoM


    If I could go back in time
    When ancient languages
    Some asleep some now not known
    Were sung in mellifluous
    Poetic verse

    I’d see an old man
    Along an ocean’s shore
    The surf a-rumbling
    A thousand roars

    By campfire ablaze
    This old patriarch sits
    Telling stories
    In mellifluous verse

    In softened tones
    He’d whisper we’d sing
    Rhythmic poetry
    In gentle verse and voice
    Ancient poetry
    We would joyfully sing

  39. Nancy Posey

    This one took me a little longer because (a. It’s the last week of the semester, so they’re beating a path to my office door; (b. I decided to make the whole poem out of lines from my April poems. If it seems a little disconnected, that’s why!

    Practice Kisses

    They aren’t thinking of time now,
    peeking through her window blinds,
    as we delivered practice
    fragile as a moth’s wing,
    nibbling on their edges,
    as if no one would choose
    familiar laughter,

    I now read like laugh lines.
    leaving sometimes, only a trace,
    the smile I know you saved for me.
    you can’t read mine

    I eavesdropped on their talk, pure poetry
    that incessant hum, that odd mating song
    a medley fit only for porches,
    the lyrics you can’t quite forget
    if it lasts the night or not.

  40. RJ Clarken

    Some Pomegranates, to Begin?*

    “Some guy just asked me if my dog was a pomegranate. I said, ‘Umm no that would be a fruit.’ LOL.” ~Chanel Dudley

    The pomegranate is a fruit.
    The Pomeranian? Canine.
    The difference I will now define:
    a pomegranate tree takes root.

    As for the dog, he’s awfully cute.
    Whereas a fruit’s from tree or vine,
    the Pomeranian’s canine.
    The pomegranate is a fruit.

    To say much more is kind of moot:
    But, here’s the thing On fruit you dine.
    A fuzzy dog? Most draw the line.
    Besides, a dog’s more fun, to boot.
    The pomegranate’s just a fruit.


    * From my poem, ‘Gourmand

  41. Jezzie

    Wild Cherry

    All alone, you stand there proudly,
    visibly declaring loudly,
    bedecked in your bridal glory,
    you are first to tell your story.

    Meanwhile all around you stand stark
    other trees, barren, bare-branched, dark,
    save for some sign of lime green
    leaves emerging that can be seen.

    Your confetti blown by the breeze
    settles at the base of those trees
    in a drifting, shifting pillow,
    with catkins shed by a willow.

    Will your flowers turn to berries?
    Will they form sweet, ruby cherries?

    Will they survive April rainfall?
    Will birds come your young fruits to steal?
    When I come back here in the Fall
    Will there be any sign at all
    of your former bridal glory?

    Will you call out again to me
    with pride, or will there simply be
    a lonely, bereft little tree,
    shedding her dying rustic leaves,
    with a sad unfinished story?

  42. Yolee

    And I, a foregone confusion of flesh and bone

    sometimes get lost in verses.
    Light between groves in the forest
    use my petals like a scratch pad
    when I’m reconditioned to wildflower
    among stones and snacking bees.

    At times petrichor rises. Earth scents,
    after clouds have had a good cry,
    cleave to me like spooned
    humidity between lovers.

    I then get pulled away,
    but the roots hold tight
    to their ground.

    My offering to the table of finished
    work is me standing in a container
    filled with about ¾ water
    just a bit hunched over.

  43. finallyhereiam

    You call me complex, when I uncomplicate

    Simple, as simple can be
    She untangled their misery
    But when it came to her
    They failed to be astir
    And so they said, she is complex
    That she had no reflex
    Yet what they failed to see
    Is their own apathy
    To someone so simple,
    As simple can be

  44. Jane Shlensky

    Way Too Black for Blues
    (from Black and Blue, Day 10)

    His body curves around his worn guitar
    like tree trunks grown around a hammock hitch,
    the screw deep in their flesh, held there, wedged in;
    he holds his pain inside like that and croons.

    He knows all minor keys so very well,
    like second nature to him in his funks.
    His wife narrows her eyes, then clears her throat.
    Do you know something cheerful, happy, nice?

    Sometimes he just ignores her best attempts
    at singing him from misery and woe.
    Her voice is deep and resonant and smooth
    as chocolate, a bluesy, jazzy silk.

    But she can’t understand what she can’t know,
    and he can’t tell her how deep is this pit
    beneath his feet. He wouldn’t have her go
    to where he’s been and is for anything.

    He’s working his way up from black to blue
    like bruises that change colors every day.
    Tomorrow he’ll be purple, yellow, green,
    then maybe pink or teal, or red as blood.

    He once found initials carved into
    old oaks, woods trees, who bore them year on year,
    the scars still there though smaller, never healed.
    Is it his plight to harbor what won’t go?

    She starts to hum that spiritual
    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.
    She opens up her voice to God.
    He’ll sing her song, for once. Why not?

    1. JRSimmang

      I agree with PressOn (apologies I don’t know your name, unless that is your name). The characters are at odds with one another, yet there is an unspoken love that inexplicably drives them together. I love the stanza detailing the daily changes of his mood.

  45. De Jackson

    Balanced Soft on Battered Limbs

    We start with sway, obey the
    bidding breeze, stop holding

    trees accountable for anything
    that falls. We remind ourselves

    we’re all bent, not broken, sunned
    and spoken loose, cracked open

    to a quiet dawn. We sing on, even
    when our fingers ache and voices

    rake the sky for something more.
    We pray for rain. We watch for sun

    and moon and stars to light our
    way. We say we’ll settle for this

    earth, these roots, this trace of
    truth in scattered time. We ache

    for hope, or some other sort of
    something that just might shine.


  46. Beth Rodgers


    They bludgeon the ability to perceive
    They languish in the unknown
    Regarding truths as falsehoods
    And inaccuracy as certainty.

    There is no telling what matters
    Or how to make sense of anything
    Yet the search for understanding
    Overtakes the misguided notions
    That flood the average mindset.

  47. identity

    While She Soundly Sleeps

    While she soundly sleeps,
    sun shines on emaciated faces
    whose laughter is fed by love.

    While she soundly sleeps,
    strange nightmares escape from slumber, stalking
    a culture that prays to wake.

    While she softly wakes,
    pained mothers surrender bundles as their
    young children embark on sound sleep.

  48. Connie Peters

    Ten Thousand Fairies Tap Dance on the Roof

    Troll bellies rumble.
    Ugly ogres paint the sky gray.
    Dragons roar flashing their fire.
    Giants try to blow out the flames.
    Unicorns kick up the dust.
    Dryads dance in the trees
    and fluff up their hairdos.
    Tiny pixies surf on falling leaves.
    Imps throw bags, debris, tumbleweeds about.
    Elves spray water on the earth
    so nymphs and mermaids can join in the fun.
    Ten thousand fairies tap dance on the roof.

  49. Jane Shlensky

    Proof of What Has Been
    (from Day 12, “Dig”)

    Her dreams incorporate details of life—
    skin, dark and buttery, or lips so full,
    replies from languages she might have known
    or heard in film or books or learned in school.

    Now she’s confused of who she is and was,
    her early life like archeology.
    She digs around; the closets of her mind
    are cluttered with the her she used to be.

    She once relied on artifacts to prove
    that she had traveled, cherished a career,
    but now she wonders if objects were gifts
    from unremembered friends, no longer here.

    The big things that she thought informed a life—
    the job, the kids, accomplishments, rewards—
    are not in evidence, run through the sieve
    of her forgetfulness. What’s left is words

    that come in lines and phrases, bittersweet,
    that speak to her in pictures of her past,
    that give her faith, lay selfhood at her feet
    that move past memory and hold her fast.

    She didn’t guess she’d live so long, not end
    but linger, seeking proof of what has been.

  50. Earl Parsons

    A line from a poem for the challenge on the 19th, Ouch!!

    Now I’m Nearing Sixty Years

    On a hot august day in fifty-four
    I was born into this world
    But mama already had a boy
    I was supposed to be a girl
    When the doctor handed me to her
    The man-proof was plain to see
    I looked my mama straight in the eyes
    And she fell in love with me

    Six years later I took a little trip
    Down to Grandpa’s place
    Something about that little house
    And my Grandmother’s grace
    Made me want to move in with them
    But Mama told me no
    So I ran to the woods and hid from her
    That day, she let me go

    Left that home in seventy-three
    A Zoomie’s life to live
    Roamed the world for Uncle Sam
    Two decades I would give
    Along the way I met my wife
    We made a family
    Hung up the Blue in ninety-four
    A civilian I would be

    Settled down in the Panhandle
    White sands and emerald sea
    Kids all grown and on their own
    Just the wife and me
    Now I’m nearing sixty years
    Wish I could slow things down
    Still growing old is kind of cool
    As long as she’s around

  51. pmwanken

    (a shadorma)

    again by nightmares,
    she reached out.
    The distance
    was closed by his voice as he
    held her with his words.

    P. Wanken

    * “nestled in safety” taken from Day 3’s poem: “Fledgling (Love) Bird”

  52. dextrousdigits

    Open Arms
    to welcome
    to hug
    to carry something
    big heart

    Closed arms or folded across chest
    imply distancing
    nothing to give at this time
    going inside to walk about
    perhaps to search deep caverns

    Open, closed
    closed, open
    Suggest the pulse of the heart pumping
    A balanced life
    Open, closed
    closed, open.

  53. missjoyce

    Choose a line from one of your poems and use it as the title.

    As She Pulls Into the Driveway
    (from my April 12 poem)

    He didn’t tell her
    he called in sick today;
    he needed the time
    to think things through.

    He didn’t tell her
    why he started to pray;
    he asked for blessings
    with what he’ll do.

    He didn’t tell her
    where the money’s going;
    the car interrupts him
    quarter past 4.

    He didn’t tell her
    his surprise was a ring;
    she turns the knob then she
    pushes the door.

  54. priyajane

    A haunting calling from – somewhere
    A hot and cold, colliding glare
    Jupiter’s, rumbling grand emissions
    Fireworks of a master magician

    We may run like ‘scardy cats’
    But yonder, someone’s up to bat
    Crowds of clouds are cheering on
    Booms,of roaring victory songs
    Trees are wailing tears with tweets
    Cliffs,have paralyzing pleats
    And as the rain just needles on
    What’s on earth,- tries staying strong

    Thrashing waves join in the bloom
    Sparing nothing, in the flume
    Nature, dressed in a powerful armor
    Forces us to stop our clamor
    Reminding us of whose in charge
    As we humbly push our barge

    And soon , its bored and loses speed
    Disappearing through the reed
    Wonder struck we heave a sigh
    Mindful lessons to apply—

  55. Andrew Kreider

    He thinks I’m sexy

    in my tight black running shorts, sparrow legs
    flailing down main street in the rain.  The crowd
    is cheering us on in a great wave, loud
    as the blood in my ears, as the great kegs
    of beer rolling to the pub.  My side begs
    me to slow down, but my mind is unbowed
    willing each step forward.  And I am proud
    to be here, drinking life down to the dregs.

    And there he is, as if by accident,
    beneath a black umbrella, not looking
    at me, one hand at some woman’s back.  We
    play this game in public, doing things meant
    to suggest we don’t care.  But he’s burning!
    I bend over, and let him yearn for me.

  56. happys

    ~I Thank You~

    I thank God for sending you to me
    I thank you for insulting me
    That unfateful morning opened my eyes
    I am not all left brain I realized

    Hurtful words you left behind
    Words cutting like knife that bind
    My right brain awaken from deep sleep
    Express myself through poems I did

    Amateur I might be in this field
    English being not my main speech
    Strangers appreciating my neophyte yield
    Extremely grateful that God sent me thee

  57. geezergirl


    Light white notes gather
    A flock of words to take flight
    face up still waiting

    face up still waiting
    flutter at the word’s edges
    Gravity takes hold

    Gravity takes hold
    Paper trail calls the Buddha
    Wisdom lays around

    Wisdom lays around
    the note trail knows the Way here
    Light white notes gather

  58. priyajane


    The fading writing stares rudely at me
    Bleeding words that rip and scream
    Leaving me alone to face
    What in their minds, is such disgrace !
    Love that feeds you in the womb
    How can that love change its tune?

    Their tunnel vision is hard to digest
    Entangled veins are stifling my quest
    I’m in a glass house, they have rocks in hand
    How can I survive this stifling quicksand
    Whose made the rules they proudly claim
    And when I protest, they change the game?
    How can I firmly stand my ground?

    Generations of controlling x genes
    A cancer feeds hippocratic dreams
    With handcuffs ready they come disguised
    My passionate lamb to sacrifice
    But my mind and soul will never oblige
    Why should I have to pay the price?
    Why ?why ? why?

  59. Michelle Hed

    “flirting with your synaptic waves”

    Images pop in and out –
    barely touching some,
    lingering on others … a caress…
    Sparks fly
    when the right one is found
    firing up the drive
    ready to move beyond flirtation,
    ready for the next step…

  60. Rachel Blake

    She Steps Spring’s Dance

    She steps Springs dance
    As from Winter she awakes
    The green shoots catch the beat
    Yellow, purple, blues choreography
    costume the flower heads
    Catkins writhe in time, in rhythm
    Birds whistle as they build
    Leaf attends this ball of growth,
    implies that Blossom is on her way
    Nature singing out to her children
    Dance with me, dance this day.

  61. taylor graham


    So they book me on trumped-up charges.
    A bad dream.
    One artificial bright light suspends
    above my skull, blinding the eyes.
    Everything else too dim to remember.
    Isn’t everybody’s mind
    a dark alley with padlocked doors
    you’re scared to open;
    others hung ajar so you can hear
    the footfall of pulp fiction,
    hoof-beats of medieval romance
    from somewhere inside?
    A fire-escape cat screeches.
    The rats that are your hungers
    skitter and claw.
    And far above, stars abide
    in a dark
    no inquisitor can touch
    with his magnum flashes.
    No way will I talk.

  62. PressOn


    I thought I felt a gust of wind
    while walking down an ancient road.
    Confused, I stopped my meandering mode
    to gaze at trees whose limbs were still.

    The snow was falling; winter’s chill
    was boring deep into my clothes.
    Ahead, the old macadam rose
    to meet a wall of settling night.

    Long I lingered, hoping to sight
    the source of agitated air.
    But no, the silent woodland there
    refused to show its muted heart.

    The darkness came. I had to start
    for home, to where my blood could melt.
    I walked the way again and felt
    nary a single breath of wind.

  63. Ber

    Lips Combined

    Twisting branches gather
    follow follow me
    her finger gestures swallow him
    they bring him to his knees

    With lips so roaring red
    her silky dress hangs bare
    her shoe less feet
    make his heart beat
    his kindness oh so rare

    As the birds fly off in flight
    the sun it hangs low in the sky
    their shadows play along
    making scenes of times gone by

    Lay your hands on me
    she called out to him
    shelter me with your love
    as the rain fell from above

  64. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Next Great Adventure

    Opening the door
    this morning
    devoid of song
    I almost
    would come into the room
    where the sun comes in

    and I wonder about that.
    Rain is auspicious,
    a different thing.
    It’s all over now — but still
    if the way had been clear….
    Some give up altogether. I go on.

    At least the marigolds
    covered the road,
    creating a new path
    as one dimly remembered
    more than any other.
    That memory of that moment,
    indeterminate as clouds —

    this is everything!
    Where have you gone
    from ghosts and weeping?
    Without breaking down and screaming,
    it seems uncertain.

    I decided to have fun taking it further and making a whole poem out of lines from previous poems written this April. (It’s nonsense, of course — but I hope that it almost makes sense!)

  65. Iain Douglas Kemp

    I apologise – The opening of this “poem” (?) has not been used this April – but has appeared in the past.

    Dear Ringo,
    Hey Bro! That was some game and we got the sweep.
    Something to smile about for a change. My ma phoned.
    D ‘ya have to be such a hard-ass? Break out some green
    and cut my family some slack, would ya? While yer at it,
    why not cut me some slack? I am not now nor have I ever
    been a Mets fan. Sure, my Grandpa was a Dodgers fan but
    he’s long dead and they are long gone. I live in Queens ‘cos
    I’ve always lived in Queens. My apartment is small ‘cos unlike
    you, I ain’t making diddly to speak of. As to how I make it – well,
    no I never talk about it. Wanna know why? You! That’s why! Back
    in 10th grade you said I’d get now-where in life – you ass! You said
    I’d be lucky to get a job on the Roosevelt island Tramway – going
    no-where every day for a city pittance and a pension. Well guess
    what? I was lucky. That’s what I do. I drive the Tramway – back and
    forward all day everyday – I’m just lucky my supervisor is a yanks
    fan and cuts me some slack on my roster. So go ahead and crow,
    big time taxi driver. Let’s face it; you do the same damn job, you
    just vary the route.
    Pick me up at 6 and how about breaking out yer moth-eaten bill fold?

    Yours setting the record straight,


  66. nessajay

    I will perhaps set accidental fire to his cooking oil

    I will perhaps forget to lock the gate
    I will perhaps overlook the sweet spring and dip his cup from the bitter
    I will perhaps loosen my tongue at the washing house

    Perhaps when I walk to the market
    I will keep walking to my sister’s house
    Perhaps I will call to her
    To lay down her mill and come out
    Perhaps many will join us
    We will carry our water jugs further down the road
    Thatch new roofs
    Build new ovens
    Be the first to eat what comes out of them
    No longer live off our husbands’ scraps

  67. Iain Douglas Kemp

    I felt inclined to scribble a bit prose – sorry it turned out to be rather long!

    Cats, Poetry & Death #56
    (A return to The Repository of All Knowledge – previously visited in #12 & #41)

    Where Cats Speak Every Language.

    In the gardens of The Repository of All Knowledge I sat contemplating the works Du Fu
    – Poet Sage of the 8th century Tang Dynasty -as read by a rather severe looking ginger and white tomcat, in lieu, it seemed of the Maestro himself who was resting – weary from debating syllabic forms with Du Fu who strived a century later to emulate the former….

    …I fell asleep, lulled by the ancient Chinese and awoke to witness a grey Persian arguing whether it was not rather, nobler in the mind to take a nap with the Bard of Stratford himself.
    Cats and Poets came and went as I drowsed on a grassy knoll wondering if I shouldn’t read something from the Repository or whether, indeed, the Persian feline was quite right in his assertion.

    I was awoken again by The Librarian himself who ushered me back along the cobbled path
    and through the great French windows in to the Repository. He pointed to a tome of some stature on a high shelf and the adjacent ladder and asked if I would be so kind as to bring it down for him. On completing the task, the Master of All Knowledge set the book on a lectern, carefully opened it at a page that seemed well-thumbed and proceed to read.

    I recognised the poem as the work of Goethe – considered by many in this hallowed place to be the most melancholy and at times miserable, if not surly of the Romantic Poets in residence at this haven Beyond The Light. The words rang bells of joy in my mind and soul although the Old German was testing on my ears. The Librarian read with such fervour and cadence that it was impossible not to be swept away on a cloud of romanticism and dream-like musings of love sublime…

    When he had finished he stared at me in that way that I had become accustomed to when the felines expected to be either paid a compliment or asked to continue. Instead I simple asked if there was a language that was not spoken here. The aged one looked disappointed, but merely for a fleeting second, as he stated categorically that all words of all men were known by all the cats that served The Books.

    I thanked him and as I rose to leave and he handed me a small leather-bound volume, with the comment “Something to keep you busy.”

    I strolled back into the garden and sat on a bench with a young girl who was listening to a half-white tabby reciting Plath and looked at the tome – the pages were blank; on the cover it simple said The Complete Works of Me, Volume II. I held it to my chest beneath my folded hands and let the oohs and aahs of the girl lull me back to sleep.


      1. Iain Douglas Kemp

        Thank you. Fear not, I am returning from the wilderness of song writing (I may visit it occasionally) and thus will be here on Wednesdays again after a couple of years break of same. I can also be found weekly at Poetic Bloomings. Hmmmm…I need one more prompt a week, I fancy doing three…suggestions on a postcard please…